Last updated on January 21st, 2020
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No matter where you live you can enjoy clematis flowers, even if you live in an incredibly cold area. How? Potted clematis plants. Growing them in pots allows you to not only situate them anywhere in your garden but to cultivate them in areas where the soil or the ground itself might not provide for such cultivation. Even though they are flexible in terms of the soil parameters they require, you simply might live in an area where you don’t have suitable soil, you don’t have the time or money to change the soil, the ground freezes over in Winter to such degrees that you can’t keep the plants alive, or you simply might prefer to grow them in pots and containers.
Clematis in containers
When you are growing clematis in containers you need to consider the size of the container first and foremost. The size, double standard, calls for a minimum of 45cm in diameter but this is for smaller clematis that reaches no more than two metres in height. Containers that are larger than this are obviously suitable for larger clematis and allow for full maturity, also the deeper the container the better as clematis prefer to have cool roots.
The second consideration for clematis in containers is the type of material used. Some materials are simply heavier than others so if you are going to pick a pot that is crafted from hard clay or cement, you need to place it in your garden where you want the plant to grow, after which you can plant your clematis. If you try to plant it and then move it there after you will find it far too heavy especially once you add all the soil and the plant. Similarly, the material is chosen impacts the ability of your container to stand up to winter weather.
Things like terracotta or ceramic might not withstand freezing temperatures without cracking so if these are the containers you have it might be in your best interest to consider placing them on a movable pallet and bringing them inside in the winter. Alternatively, you can pick resin containers or wooden containers that are able to better stand up to winter temperatures without sustaining any damage and those can be left exactly where they are in your garden, remember though that wood rots so invest in quality timber pots. We really like resin pots as there mostly frost proof and don’t rot.
Planting your clematis in pots
When you are ready to plant and you have the appropriate container you need to start by digging a hole that is slightly larger than the pot in which the clematis was purchased. Chances are you bought your clematis from a nursery, hopefully one that is at least 2 years old so that you can expedite maturity and full flower production. Whatever the age, the incredibly careful with the clematis when you transplant it because the roots can be easily broken.
Once you have dug the hole mix in potting compost designed for container growing as it usually has long term feed in and add a little slow-release fertilizer. Transport the clematis directly into the hole and cover any remaining areas, add some mulch around the perimeter of the pot if necessary, and water it.
As a new plant, it will likely need watering once every week until it reaches maturity but they’re after you can reduce watering especially by adding mulch on top to help retain moisture. A few cms of mulch will allow the soil to maintain a cooler temperature while the rest of the plant gets full sunlight. Even once established, check whether it needs watering regularly by seeing if the top 2 inches of compost is dry.
Choosing a clematis for pots
You can grow most clematis in pots but you can get some specialised varieties that are not a vigorous and only grow to 6-8ft which are perfect for pots. A good tip is to look for clematis that are group 3 as they can be pruned back hard which means they can be moved if needed but more importantly you have access to the trellis to make repairs if needed.